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OUR VILLAGE, OUR FUTURE: VISIONING FOR RIDGEWOOD’S NEXT MASTER PLAN Frequently-Asked Questions

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Frequently-Asked Questions

last updated October 14, 2018

1. What is Our Village, Our Future?

The Village of Ridgewood, NJ is working towards preparing its next Master Plan. One of the first steps is to engage the community to think about and share its vision for current and future generations to love and appreciate. Our Village, Our Future is the name given to this visioning process.

2. What are the goals of Our Village, Our Future?

The primary goal of Our Village, Our Future is to implement a community visioning process that reaches out to a broad range of Village residents and other stakeholders (e.g., businesses, institutions, etc.) and encourages them to think about and discuss the values, principles, goals, and priorities that should shape the future of the Village. This community visioning process represents the one of the first steps toward creating a new Master Plan for the Village.

3. What will be the final outcome or product of Our Village, Our Future? When will the Master Plan be prepared?

The final outcome/product of this visioning process will be a Vision Plan. This document will summarize the community engagement process and synthesize the results of this process in terms of identifying and explaining the values, principles, goals, and priorities that should shape the Village’s next Master Plan. The process of creating the next Master Plan will start after the visioning process is complete.

4. What is a Master Plan and how is it relevant to my life in the Village?

A Master Plan, sometimes referred to as a Comprehensive Plan, is a guidance document that sets goals, policies, and priorities for investing in the physical, economic, environmental, and social future of a community. A master plan can address a wide range of topics and/or geographic areas of importance to residents and other stakeholders. It can provide an overall vision for a place and identify key priorities and strategies toward achieving the vision. It can provide direction in terms of investing in transportation improvements and public facilities, changing zoning regulations, protecting ecologically-sensitive areas, or becoming more environmentally sustainable. Concept plans and other visuals within a master plan can demonstrate ideas and hoped-for outcomes.

The master plan is also the basis for a municipality’s zoning regulations. In New Jersey, all municipalities are required to have a master plan and to “reexamine” it at least every 10 years. The reexamination process can represent a stepping stone for updating or creating a new master plan. However, the resulting Reexamination Report itself does not constitute the actual updated or new master plan.

5. Why does the Village need to prepare a new Master Plan? Has the Village “reexamined” its Master Plan yet?

Although there are certain parts of the Village’s Master Plan that have been updated more recently (for example, the section pertaining to housing, which was updated in 2016), the core sections of the Master Plan date back to 1983. A lot has changed since that time. The Village did “reexamine” its master plan in 2016, and the resulting Master Plan Reexamination Report can be downloaded and viewed from the Plans & Studies page.

6. Will the Our Village, Our Future process involve the whole Village, geographically speaking?

Yes, the whole Village is the subject of this visioning process. It is not limited to a specific part or aspect of the Village; we expect and welcome feedback on any part or aspect of the Village.

7. How can I stay informed about this process? How will I be able to contribute my vision for the future of Ridgewood?

First, visit www.visionridgewood.org. This website will be the central public portal of information for this initiative. Next, make sure to sign up to receive updates when a new post is added to the page. Look for the phrase “Receive E-mail Updates” on the site and follow the instructions.

Press releases will be drafted and distributed so that local newsletters and newspapers can publish timely information for their readers during the course of the initiative. We anticipate utilizing various methods to get input from residents and other stakeholders. These might include surveys, workshops, focus groups, etc.

The Village’s website and social media outlets (Facebook and Twitter) will also feature important dates and milestones in the visioning process, providing links to more details at this website.

8. What if I have questions or already have input about my vision for Ridgewood?

An online form is available on the Contact page at www.visionridgewood.org for residents and other interested members of the community to ask additional questions about or offer suggestions for this visioning process. If you have already been thinking about your vision for Ridgewood and would like to share it with us, visit the Your Vision page.  As the visioning process moves ahead, there will be more formal opportunities to participate in the visioning process through workshops, surveys, and other methods.

9. What if I or one of my neighbors is unable to access information or provide input through online means?

You or your neighbor can provide input in writing and mail or drop it off in a sealed envelope to Master Plan Subcommittee, Planning Board of the Village of Ridgewood, 131 North Maple Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ 07450. Furthermore, any important announcements will be posted in the main lobby of Village Hall.

10. Is there anything I can do to help with this process?

Yes! We can always use help getting the word out to people in the Village. If you are or know the point-person responsible for sending e-mail communications for a church, school, civic association, or other type of community-based organization, please include a link to the Our Village, Our Future website. We may have other opportunities for volunteers, which can include high school students (with parents’ permission), to assist in promoting Our Village, Our Future. We will post these opportunities to this website when they arise.

11. What is the timeline for completing this process?

We anticipate that the visioning process will take approximately seven months to complete.

12. Who is leading this initiative?

This initiative is being guided by the Master Plan Subcommittee of the Planning Board, with support from the Village Council. Through a request for proposals and interview process, the Master Plan Subcommittee and the Planning Board recommended the firm NV5, Inc., based in Parsippany, NJ, to lead this process and develop the resulting vision plan. The Village Council subsequently approved the recommendation. NV5’s Community Planning & Urban Design group has experience throughout the Northeast and in New Jersey with projects like Our Village, Our Future.

Composition of the Master Plan Subcommittee:

  • Richard Joel, Planning Board Chair
  • Joel Torielli, Planning Board Vice Chair
  • Susan Knudsen, Deputy Mayor
  • Melanie McWilliams

NV5, Inc.:

  • Neil Desai, AICP PP, Project Manager
  • Annette Schultz, AICP PP
  • Rachana Sheth
  • Chris Lucas, AICP LEED ND
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Reader says , “Rome is Burning “

Clock CBD

Rome is Burning and we are writing story books about a leantoo shed close to not having any heat nor light , a filthy facility that the NJ Transit should rebuild in brick and
offer some protection from the elements ; that can be cleaned ,then locked at night like a real town.We need to check the water in this town..it’s getting a bit to wobbly intellect
wise. They keep shifting the happy together talk to avoid dealing with the real issues that are hard to address manage and take intelligent approach to.Happy Holidays Ridgewood a town worth fighting for …2019 needs a more realistic plan on cost containment and cancelation of massive Hudson st garage plans in order to cut our longer term losses .

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Readers think It’s a Little late for “VISIONING “

This is bullshit and too little too late. They should have reached out to us before they started the digging all around CBD. The destiny for RW is on the wall regardless our feedback in this phony “survey”. They have their own image in mind, all of them including this and past VCs and they will implement that. I hate this hypocrisy. They know it is too late, many people have given up fighting and the majority of residents does not care (only 400 people responded). It just makes them feel better……

Continue reading Readers think It’s a Little late for “VISIONING “

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Take the Ridgewood Visioning Questionnaire

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Our Village, Our Future: Visioning for Ridgewood’s Next Master Plan – Add your voice and vision to the future of the Village of Ridgewood – visit www.VisionRidgewood.org
What should the Village be like in 5, 10, or 20 years? What trends do you think might have a significant impact on the Village in the future? What is your vision for the future of the Village?

Continue reading Take the Ridgewood Visioning Questionnaire

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The Village of Ridgewood Launches ” Our Village, Our Future ” a Village-wide visioning process on the creation of its next Master Plan

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, On Tuesday, September 18, 2018, the Village of Ridgewood  officially launched Our Village, Our Future, a Village-wide visioning process that will inform the creation of its next Master Plan. The website www.visionridgewood.org will serve as the main online portal for Our Village, Our Future.

Continue reading The Village of Ridgewood Launches ” Our Village, Our Future ” a Village-wide visioning process on the creation of its next Master Plan

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2017-2018 Meeting Schedule of the Ridgewood Planning Board

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MEETINGS ARE HELD THE FIRST AND THIRD TUESDAYS OF THE MONTH,
UNLESS NOTED OTHERWISE

DATE TYPE OF MEETING LOCATION TIME___

Village Hall Court Room
131 North Maple Avenue
Ridgewood, NJ 07450

July 18, 2016 Reorganization & Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
Regular Meeting
August 1, 2017 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
August 15, 2017 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
September 5, 2017 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
September 19, 2017 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
October 3, 2017 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
October 17, 2017 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
November 7, 2017 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
November 21, 2017 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
December 5, 2017 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
December 19, 2017 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
January 2, 2018 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
January 16, 2018 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
February 6, 2018 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
February 20, 2018 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
March 6, 2018 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
March 20, 2018 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
April 3, 2018 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
April 17, 2018 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
May 1, 2018 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
May 15, 2018 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
June 5, 2018 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
June 19, 2018 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
July 3, 2018 Reorganization & Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
Regular Meeting
July 17, 2018 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.

All meetings are open to the public, except for closed sessions, which may be held at any time. Regular
meetings may include work sessions, at which no formal action is taken, and/or items involving formal action
of the Board.

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Justice Department investigating Toms River’s zoning laws

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file photo by Boyd Loving

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating Toms River’s zoning laws affecting religious land uses, including the Board of Adjustment’s requirement that a rabbi obtain a use variance to continue operating his Church Road home as a house of worship. Jean Mikle, Asbury Park Press Read more

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Reader says public input early is key in the Ridgewood Planning Board process

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I do think public input early in the process is key. I agree current council has been scared of allowing opposition to formalize as it did with CRR and Valley. They seem to think that if you do it quick you minimize the ability of the public to create opposition groups, etc.

So I agree, make people aware and get stakeholders into the informal meetings. But I think the public comment and the entire process would be helped if it was less formal. The Planning Board public comment period is supposed to focus on whatever specific legal objections and technical objections can be raised. They tolerate kids getting up to say there will be construction and people speculating about construction workers oggoling children, but that is not really what the Planning Board hearing is about. HOWEVER, a less formal informative session format would give a perfect outlet for those kids to be heard before the Planning Board or the developers are locked into a legal process. There can be a dialogue this way.

Now legally this would have to be voluntary for the developers. BUT we could create a voluntary preliminary planning framework. Publish a description online and in the paper. Have 2 meetings at different times on different days. Allow cross talk so questions can be addressed and answered. You could even publish a summary of the meetings but agree they will not be recorded or be considered binding. Let the developer have the right to sign off on the summary before it is published to correct their own statements as needed. This will free everyone up to talk more freely.

Following this process a plan would be submitted for the formal planning board. The carrot to get developers to take the deal would be that the Planning Board would have the option to allow comment and vote on the same night ONLY IF the developers went through the preliminary voluntary process. Otherwise the Planning Board would typically allow 1-2 sessions of public comment BEFORE voting.

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Reader says The recent election has shown that two thirds of the electorate favor more moderate development projects

3 amigos in action Ridgewood NJ

Ridgewood is where it is because our Council has been governing for the benefit of the few and not for the benefit of the many. The tax payers have been fed a steady diet of “take it or leave it”, oversized initiatives with no option to compromise. Why? Because the Council majority has been answering to Valley and the developer special interest groups. If Valley Hospital could have moved off of its completely unreasonable expansion plan 10 years ago, they’d be finished with their construction by now and we’d have a more modern hospital. Whose fault is that? Same goes for the CBD – not a single person who thinks 35 units per acre is too dense has ever advocated for vacant car dealerships. That is the rhetoric of the now-vanquished Ron Simoncini and his “Truth About Ridgewood.” The recent election has shown that two thirds of the electorate favor more moderate development projects. It’s time to undo what the last Council has put in place and start over. Smaller hospital, smaller garage, smaller apartments.

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Reader say Ridgewood is in Desperate Need of A Master Plan

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Well our town desperately needs a Master Plan of what it wants to be in the next 10, 20 years and how we will get there. Where will the open space be? how does multi-family housing intersect with garage parking and maintaining a safe “walking village”? What streets could have more parking quickly and cheaply (tree streets) and why don’t we try it first? More parking at a garage is one solution but until you lay out where everything will be it is foolish to throw in one monster garage and think problem solved.

The stores in Ridgewood that have a compelling business proposition do great and even expand: Rita’s, Hot Jewelry Box, Fox’s, Alex and Ani, Learning Express are a few examples. If you are a me too store, a la the GAP or Gymboree I can find you in the mall. There are a few business I will go to if I can find a spot out front (Dunkin, nail salons etc) but if there is not a close spot, I will visit Midland Park as it is just as close to my house. I will not park in the garage for those businesses. On a special Saturday night out in town, I can park by NY sports on the street for free or drive farther from the restaurants and always parking. I am of the opinion that the garage will not be that impactful for businesses, more so for commuters. If the businesses really had a push NOW for their employees to park elsewhere (graydon in winter, school in summer) and did some sort of COC busing for them that might help the store front parking.

Now a business such as Roots failing because of parking is NOT OUR PROBLEM. While it is a beautiful space, it is way too large and the owners were mistaken to think the client base in Ridgewood is the same as Summit. And I really hope the new council gets rid of that gift of a zillion spots to valet outside…Why doesn’t every business – regardless of what type of business – get the same valet treatment? Would be much more fair to have the small commuter lot set up as a valet depot for all businesses…could even add a second level on Hudson or Cottage for that purpose and be done with it. Again, if we had proper planning not patchwork planning.